“These outreach workers are essentially a lifeline through service facilitation.”
Cain said outreach workers have a different understanding of the homelessness crisis.
“[Outreach is] really the only way to get to know individuals currently living on the streets,” he said.
“Outreach workers have an incredible range of knowledge when it comes to people they recognize who might be new to the community. »
The City will hire the equivalent of nearly three full-time employees for the CSO outreach program. Cain said the program will bring a different perspective to CSO workers, who focus on enforcement.
“Certainly [CSOs] having an enforcement perspective, there’s no doubt about it — it’s appropriate and we encourage it. But when they’re trying to help people and connect them to services, it makes sense to me that they’re paired with more traditional outreach services,” Cain said.
The program will be reimbursed if the city is successful in applying for the Strengthening Community Services Program. Director of Social, Housing and Community Development Carmin Mazzota presented the City’s grant application to council on Tuesday, April 12.
The grant application also requests more than $700,000 for 24/7 security patrols on Victoria Street West and the Tranquille Market Corridor.
Some advisers wondered if the money might not be better spent on something other than security.
“There is a lot of money allocated in the grant proposal for more security. Security really can’t do anything but get people moving. Throughout all of this I keep saying all we do is move people forward, we move them forward and when we see them again we say, ‘Move on’, the adviser said Dale Bass.
The money would also go towards continuing the Envision shuttle service that brings homeless people to shelters. Mazotta said the service brought 30 people a day to shelters during cold spells in December and January.
About $143,000 would go towards pursuing the Sharps Recovery Peer program. This program employs people with lived experience of poverty, homelessness and addiction to pick up sharps and litter and connect with homeless people.
“If anything happens to people who live on the street, it’s people who know what it’s like to live on the street. These are people who know what it’s like to have an addiction, to have a mental health issue and [are] able to speak that language to people,” Bass said.
If the City’s request is accepted, it will receive the money by the summer.